S&T stargazer

For the first time in over two years, S&T students, faculty and staff, and Rolla community members got an up-close look at celestial objects thanks to Ken Goss, a senior in computer science and computer engineering. Last August, Goss hosted the S&T Observatory’s first Visitors’ Night in over two years.

20151027-Ken-Goss-0012

The physics department had been looking for someone to take over Visitors’ Nights since John Schmitt, associate professor emeritus of physics, retired in 2013. Schmitt taught astronomy and ran the observatory for decades.

“Few with my neophyte status have the privilege of handling a telescope this big, so I’m happy to serve the public.”

Paul Parris, professor of physics, discovered that his neighbor who often stargazed from his front yard using a personal telescope was an S&T student. One night when Parris took his trash bin out to the curb, he approached his neighbor about the observatory.

Goss says he grew up with a “nascent interest” in astronomy. “I’d go out and look for different things at different times of the year.” He says his interest has grown in the last two or three years, since he bought a telescope — the same one Parris saw him using. He now considers himself an amateur astronomer.

Before coming to S&T, Goss and his wife, Heather, both majored in music education. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees and student-taught music in Missouri’s Kirkwood School District. Then the economic recession came, and the job market crashed.

Goss decided to go back to school at S&T to become a computer engineer. “I was afforded the opportunity to retool my skill set,” he says.

He never thought he would be running a university observatory.

“Few with my neophyte status have the privilege of handling a telescope this big, so I’m happy to serve the public,” he says.

Around the Puck

“Forged in Gold: Missouri S&T’s First 150 Years”

In the 1870s, Rolla seemed an unlikely location for a new college. There were only about 1,400 residents in a community with more saloons than houses of worship. There were no paved streets, sewers or water mains. To visitors, there seemed to be as many dogs, hogs, horses, ducks and geese as humans walking the dusty streets.

[Read More...]

By the numbers: Fall/Winter 2019

[Read More...]

Bringing clean water to South America

Assessing water quality, surveying mountaintop locations and building systems to catch rainwater — that’s how members of S&T’s chapter of Engineers Without Borders spent their summer break.

[Read More...]

Geothermal goals exceeded

After five years of operation, Missouri S&T’s geothermal energy system continues to outperform expectations. S&T facilities operations staff originally predicted the geothermal system would reduce campus water usage by over 10% — roughly 10 million gallons per year. The system, which went online in May 2014, cut actual water usage by 18 million to 20 […]

[Read More...]

What happens in Vegas…may appear in print

In his latest volume of Las Vegas lore, historian Larry Gragg says it was deliberate publicity strategies that changed the perception of Sin City from a regional tourist destination where one could legally gamble and access legalized prostitution just outside the city limits, to a family vacation spot filled with entertainment options and surrounded by […]

[Read More...]